I have a new laptop now and I’m starting over. Although it could be much worse than it is. There are a few files and processes that I’m lost for good but not that many and not the important ones. When my computer starting acting screwy in June, the guy who looked at it backed up most of my files and I was able to load them back on tonight. I lost a some songs I had purchased over the summer; some pictures; some documents and some emails but all-in-all I am quite fortunate. I’m only out a few hundred dollars but its all good.
I’ve been at Windermere the past 24 hours – Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon – for our pastoral staff retreat. It was a good retreat and we were able to do some big picture planning. Plus it was good to just fellowship with my co-workers during some uninterrupted time. We are quite fortunate to have a staff that gets along as well as we all do. It can often be quite a different story. I had some time to walk around Windermere to take in the beauty and to do some thinking. Windermere is a wonderful processing place. Unfortunately, I was processing so much that I couldn’t sleep last night. The last time I remember on my cell phone was 3:34 am. Then I woke up at 5:45 am. So I’m pretty tired tonight (rather, this morning) due to just 2 hours of sleep. But I do find hope in the fact that when I finish this post and head to bed, I should go right to sleep. Truly, that is an amazing and miraculous concept to me these days. I covet nights like those.
I was able to spend some time in silence with God. I need to practice the discipline of silence more with God but it is difficult to turn off my ideas, my petitions, my intercessions and just be and listen. But I know it is imperative that I do this more than anything in my time with God. To be intentional in concentrating on God’s presence in and around me and to focus in on listening for God’s voice. I think God speaks often in repetition – most likely because we are such poor listeners. For the past month, God has been reminded me in several ways and through several people that I have more faith in me than I do in God. There have been so many situations, comments, confrontations, etc. lately that have come down to this very struggle and I see them all coming together for a reason. So God can get through to me that I am far too self-sufficient for my own good and for the good of others. My faith in my own abilities is insufficient while faith in God is more than sufficient. In the past when I’ve been aware of this I tried to orchestrate some grand, overnight change. Two problems with this: 1) It can’t happen overnight and 2) I can’t orchestrate it. That is me trying to be in control of my process to not need to be in control. I heard God telling me that just as it will take small, disciplined steps to learn to practice silence in the presence of God, it will take small, disciplined steps to learn to have faith in God, not myself. So, I think I’m going to start seeking this approach with God’s help each day and stop talking about it. I considered not blogging anymore when I returned from the retreat. I felt like I haven’t really been saying another of merit lately – just some spiritual and life whining and ego centrism in many ways and I don’t want a blog about that. Plus, the introvert in me is wanting to go back into emotional hiding for a while as a means of self-protection. I’ve felt a little vulnerable and exposed these days for a variety of reasons and that is a scary place for me. But the intent of this blog from the beginning was to face some of this and to be more transparent. I do believe the world needs more transparency and I can’t ask that of others if I’m not willing to risk it myself.
Alrighty – I’m barely functioning now so I’m heading to bed. I have no idea if what I said up to this point makes sense. I’ll probably read it tomorrow after I get some rest and think – what the heck was I talking about?? Maybe I’ll learn something when I read it and it will be just one more repetitive way that God drills home his point.